Not familiar with Barre workouts? Here’s a rundown!
A Barre class is a killer workout inspired by the brilliant elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. Barre emphasizes low-impact, high-intensity movements that strengthens your body in ways that few other workouts can.
In addition to building rock-solid strength, this full-body workout also develops your agility and flexibility. In a Barre class, you'll use the bar affixed to the wall with a mirror, your own body weight, and accessories like 3-7 pound free weights, a colorful variety of resistance bands, ankle weights, exercise balls, and more to churn out rep after rep of muscle-burning moves.
What kind of workout is a Barre class?
Each barre class is designed to be a full-body, muscle endurance workout. Classes are typically broken into sections that focus on major muscle groups including your arms, thighs, calves, the all-important glutes, and the most central, your core.
The muscles in each group are fatigued in a step-wise fashion using small targeted movements, high repetitions, and light weight or resistance. Think pulsing in a squat to target the glutes and quads, cranking out as many triceps kickbacks as possible with three-pound weights, or moving through a lively plank sequence.
Don't underestimate the light weights, though—we guarantee barre class will leave your muscles burning.
Sections of class are also paired with stretching to increase overall flexibility. So if you struggle with flexibility , barre class is a great choice for that as well.
Killer benefits of a Barre class
Now you know how barre builds strength and does your flexibility a solid.
But the benefits don't end there! Barre class also boosts endurance, improves balance, increases your range of motion, and promotes better posture (something we all need). The result of many of these perks: It can support weight management, too.
And because so many of the moves you'll work through in class get your abs and back fired up, you can bet you'll sculpt a stronger, more defined core.
Even if your primary focus is on getting ready for a race, ski season, or an active vacation trip, barre class can be a great form of cross training to maintain your strength and promote well-rounded fitness.
As with any type of fitness, don't expect to master all this after one go at it. Class moves quickly, and can be challenging, since you’ll utilize muscles you forgot you had. But you’ll get the hang of it after three or four classes, and you'll generally see amazing results in just eight to 10 workout classes.
Don't be intimidated, either! Unlike many exercise programs, which require a high level of physical fitness or experience, barre is very beginner-friendly and adaptable to different skill sets and ability levels.
Whether you want to improve your posture, build your core strength, become more flexible, or just break up the monotony of your usual gym routine, barre is for you. Since these workouts are low-impact, they’re also great for all ages, pre- and postnatal women.
What to wear to your barre class!
While workout attire is totally based on personal preference, we recommend wearing stretchy leggings that make you feel comfortable and a sports bra and tank or T-shirt for your barre workout. Yoga type tops can also work, as well as a basic t-shirt for men. Expect to sweat a bit!
Wearing clothes that fit close to your body helps your instructor get a better view of your form throughout class so they can give you advice or suggest any necessary adjustments.
It’s also essential to wear sticky socks to prevent your feet from sliding rather than gym shoes.
Form tips to keep in mind during a barre workout
In your first class, one of the more challenging form essentials to grasp is the idea of small, controlled movements. When you hear your teacher say pulse, for example, that literally means just move an inch up and down. The goal here is to focus on contracting the targeted muscle, which requires keeping your range of motion controlled and precise.
If your body starts shaking during class, that means you're doing it right!
Another cue you'll likely hear is to "tuck your tailbone" or have a "heavy tailbone.” To do this, draw your abs inward and roll your hips under slightly to create a neutral spine. This position promotes core engagement and is recommended throughout most of the class.
Remember, if you don’t catch on after your first try, don’t be discouraged! You'll learn the lingo quickly, and gain familiarity with the moves after just a couple of classes.
The Bottom Line
Barre class is great for everyone—whether you're new to fitness or you’ve been a prima ballerina your whole life. Prepare for a total-body workout and to feel your muscles happily burn.
We look forward to experiencing your first barre workout with you!